Injuries at Home Can Still be Covered by Workers’ Compensation

Attorney Blog

Injuries at HomeEveryone knows that many jobs do not fall into the “9-5” category. Our firm successfully represented a police officer who suffered a work related injury in his own garage. We were able to show that even though the officer was not at the police station or on patrol at the time of the accident, his injuries at home were a result of his employment and was covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Injured workers must show that the accident they suffered “arose out of” and was “in the course of” their employment.  For an injury to “arise out of” employment, its origins must be in some risk connected with or incidental to the employment.  For an injury to be “in the course of” employment, it must occur within a period of employment, at a place where workers may reasonably be in the performance of their duties, and while they are fulfilling those duties or engaged in something incidental to those duties.  In short, “in the course of” refers to the time, place, and circumstances of the injury.  In many situations, this burden is not difficult to prove.

At other times, however, the circumstances of the accident are more complex.  This was the case for the injured police officer. The officer maintained a duty bag as party of his job. The office kept his helmet, gas masks, legal codes, ammunition, handcuffs, firearm, metal baton, and a flashlight in the duty bag.  This bag weighed approximately 40 pounds.  The officer kept the bag with him at all times for safekeeping.  He would keep the bag in his garage when he was not on duty.  The department allowed all officers to keep their duty bag with them when they were not on duty.

To prepare for his shift, the officer would move the duty bag from his garage to his personal vehicle, drive to the police station, and then transfer the bag to his squad car.  One morning, as the officer was lifting the bag from his garage’s floor into the trunk of his car, he felt a pop in his lower back and experienced immediate, excruciating pain.  The officer had to crawl from his garage into his home.  He saw an orthopedic doctor the next day and underwent spine surgery just two days after the accident.

The workers’ compensation carrier for the officer’s department denied all benefits. The carrier claimed that since the injury happened at home, the officer was not entitled to benefits. We were able to show that the incident of lifting the duty bag, even though it happened at home, was an accident that arouse out of and in the course of the officer’s employment and that this accident was the reason he needed surgery.  Even though the officer was at home when the injury occurred, the court decided that when the officer lifted the duty bag in his own garage he was fulfilling his job duties and was performing an activity the department could reasonably expect him to be doing.  The court added that because the officer could be needed at any time, it benefitted the department for the officer to keep the duty bag with him at home and transport it to work each day.  These arguments persuaded the court to award workers’ compensation benefits to the officer.

As in the case described above, there are various unique situations that result in work-related accidents that are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act.  It is important to talk to an attorney with knowledge and experience in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that all benefits an injured worker is entitled to are recovered.

More Blogs of Interest:

PEDA for Injured Police Officers

$4.7M Jury Verdict for Injured Firefighter

If you are an injured first responder or a family member of one that has suffered serious injury, know your rights. Call (630) 585-2320 so that we may help protect these very important rights and protections.


I recommend Jay Johnson and Woodruff Johnson & Evans. Jay Johnson is a real trailblazer in the work-related injury process. 10 STARS!

My attorney, Jay Johnson, was efficient and there for me when I needed help with my work-related injury. Whenever I had an issue related to my employers’ insurance adjuster, he took care of it. Jay protected my rights when I was wrongfully charged medical bills and collectors. Jay always made himself available when I had  […]


El Sr. Jay Johnson fue genial. Me guió paso a paso a través de su proceso. Lo recomendaría en caso de alguna lesión laboral.

El Sr. Jay Johnson fue genial. Fue muy receptivo. Respondió a todas mis preguntas. Siempre encontraba tiempo para devolverme la llamada cuando no estaba disponible. Me guió paso a paso a través de su proceso. Lo recomendaría en caso de alguna lesión laboral.

Rodrigo G.

Work Compensation Attorney Leandro Alhambra Fought Hard For My Case. I Highly Recommend Him. Great Communication.

Leandro Alhambra at Woodruff, Johnson & Evans did an excellent job. From the time I first contacted him, he was professional and caring. He kept me informed even during the pandemic and he fought to get me a good settlement. I recommend him highly!

Edward P.

I Got Hurt at Work and Hired Russell Haugen to Take On Workers Comp for Me! I Highly Recommend This Law Firm.

I got hurt at work and my employer workers comp has a history of giving hurt employees a “Run Around.” Well, my workers comp “kept” loosing my Doctors orders for physical therapy. After a couple of weeks of this “Run Around” I contacted Russell. It was approximately 20 minutes after speaking to Russell, and my […]

Joseph H.

I highly recommend attorney Jay Johnson to anyone facing work comp issues!

Jay Johnson was an amazing attorney. Whenever I had a question, however little it was, I’d always hear back from him either that same day, or the following morning. I really felt he represented me very well. I’d highly recommend him to anyone who has even a question about their case!

Holly B.

Mr. Russell Haugen is the best personal injury attorney in the entire Chicago area!

In my opinion, Mr. Russell Haugen is the best personal injury attorney in the Chicago area. He is very professional and very hard working person for his clients. His knowledge allowed me to have a good ending for my case. He was awesome to work with. The process took several months but the settled was […]

Barbara I.

Great Law Firm to Work With! They Stay On Top Of Everything! Thanks So Much!

They are on top of everything. Great people to work with! Thank you so much for everything you done for me.

Deanna S.

I’m so glad I hired this firm when I was hurt at work! They got my work comp checks coming in!

I hired this firm when I got hurt at work. I’m glad I did because my company wasn’t sending any checks. Leandro got my checks coming after talking to workers compensation. The work comp company wasn’t easy to deal with. I’m glad I could relax and let Leandro and Kristal go after them. It took […]

Brian M

Excellent Professional Service From Personal Injury Attorney Dexter Evans!

Very good and professional service I received from Dexter.

Jaime G.

Jay Johnson was very responsive and handled everything. He fought hard to me and won my case. Thanks Jay!

Very responsive. Always called back and always had an answer to my questions and concerns. Jay handled everything and I just sat back and waited for results. I’ve seen him fight for friends who went through the same situation I did and they all have nothing but good things to say about him. Hopefully I […]

Elizabeth V
View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.